Vonnie Borden Theatre

Vonnie Borden

The Southeastern Louisiana University Theatre Department is presenting “Dark Skin Pavement,” a Black Lives Matter themed play by T.J. Young.

As a result of Young winning the department’s Inkslinger Playwriting contest, his play is getting a full production from April 27-30 at 7:30 p.m. each night inside Vonnie Borden Theatre.

Southeastern students are responsible for set, lighting and costume design and are also featured in the cast.

“T.J. Young is an emerging black playwright originally from Houston that currently lives in Philadelphia,” said Anne-Liese Fox, the play’s director. “This production offers the opportunity for our theatre students to be involved with new play development, and the playwriting contest offers a wonderful opportunity to emerging playwrights.”

The play is centered around Harpo, who has been putting food on the table by watching other people’s children, due to B.J. and his limited ability to work due to an accident, Fox explained. After an incident at Harpo’s in-home day care threatens her business, B.J.’s cousin, Shay, introduces them to Dwaylan, a man that can keep Harpo in business.

“What Dwaylan wants in return might be more than Harpo is willing to give, as the memory of the one child she couldn’t protect comes crashing back into their lives,” Fox said.

Members of the cast include Taylor Bennett of Slidell as Harpo, DeJuan James of Hammond as B.J., Isreal Lyons of Hattiesburg, Miss., as Dwaylin, Janai Stevenson of Nashville as Shay, and Isaiah Smith of Kenner as Martell.

The production crew includes Alexandra Owens of Phenix City, Ala., as assistant director, Matthew George of Jefferson and Theresa Brown of Slidell as stage managers, Jada Jackson of Slidell as dramaturg, Leah Peevy of Loranger as costume designer, Emery Foster of Hammond as scenic designer, and Adrian Cote of Hammond as lighting designer.

LIONS ForTheCulture are hosting talkbacks after each production, which has a running time of 65 minutes.

Tickets for “Dark Skin Pavement” are $20 general admission, $15 for faculty, seniors and military personnel, and are available by emailing theatreboxoffice@southeastern.edu.

Tickets are free for Southeastern students and are available by email at the same address.

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